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Appeals Process Fails to Uphold Young People’s Rights

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On Wednesday 2 June, the new Cabinet Secretary for Education, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, gave a statement to the Scottish Parliament sharing the appeals process for the 2021 national qualifications. You can read more about the details of the process on the sqa’s website by clicking here.

In reaction to the statement, Liam Fowley MSYP said:

“Like many young people across Scotland, we were hugely disappointed by the Appeals process announced today. Young people have suffered over the last year, and a process which does not uphold their human rights is simply not acceptable.

“We welcome the fact that the process will be free and will include a direct appeal to SQA and that there will be support put in place for young people’s mental health, which are things we have called for. However, young people have been making the point for months that a fair and robust appeals process must include a policy of no-detriment so young people are not unfairly deterred from appealing. It also must take into account the exceptional circumstances that many young people have gone through over the past year, including bereavement, illness, and mental health challenges. This appeals system does neither of those two things.

“SYP is a member of the SQA’s National Qualifications Group and have argued strongly in that group that the appeals process needed to do these two things, to avoid breaching young people’s rights. Unfortunately, the SQA have chosen to disregard those views in publishing their process and not meaningfully engaged with young people in its development.

“We hope that, going forward, the incorporation of the UNCRC into Scot’s law will ensure that rights breaches of this kind become a thing of the past.”

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